The Ghost Nebula

IC 63 — nicknamed the Ghost Nebula — is about 550 light-years from Earth.

The nebula is classified as both a reflection nebula —

as it is reflecting the light of a nearby star — and as an emission nebula —

as it releases hydrogen-alpha radiation.


Both effects are caused by the gigantic star Gamma Cassiopeiae. The radiation of this star is also slowly causing the nebula to dissipate.

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